Thursday, February 16, 2012

A Day In Her Momma's Green Tutu

Seven years ago on February 13th a very influential person in my life passed away. Ms Kay was my ballet teacher and a great presence in my life during those delicate teen years. She laid some serious groundwork in my ballet training that allowed me to grow the way I did when I moved to a professional company. She trained us as if we were a professional company so I learned some serious discipline (in the tough love kind of way! :oP), and she molded my personality in a less attitude-y sort of way :oP Oh I was a brat because I was a perfectionist and got really mad if I didn't do everything perfect, and she helped me to learn from my mistakes, not to dwell and be angry at them. She loved me so much that she put up with a lot from me, and that kind of love I am eternally grateful for.

And then there's the matter of her choreography. Her pieces had some of the most amazing musicality I have ever seen or danced to. One piece called Nevsky always got my adrenaline going and regardless of my tendonitis or shin splints I only felt the rush gained from the music and the movements she created for EACH note. The most moving piece of all, to me, is one she set to the music from The Mission (dubbed Oboe by her and the dancers). The lead dancer portrays her struggle with cancer, all alone in the beginning (the lone oboe is playing at this point). And then the choir joins in as dancers fill the stage as her family circling around her and helping to support her in her fight (she was in remission when she created this piece). I was fortunate to perform this lead role a few times and it was an incredible honor. I even brought the piece out to Omaha a couple years after her passing and shared the story with a new group of dancers. Some, unfortunately, could relate to the pain I knew in loving someone with cancer and the rest were so touched that when the piece was debuted they put so much feeling into it that the audience LOVED and understood it. Ms Kay knew how to express so much feeling through movement; that was a talent I was, and still am, in awe of.

So for the anniversary I decided to put my daughter in a tutu my mom made for me. It was with Ms. Kay and Washington Contemporary Ballet that my mom got her tutu making start. (She went on to win's intl tutu contest one year! I'm very proud if you can't tell :oP). And while a red, purple, and black tutu would have been a little more fitting in a photoshoot for the memory of Ms. Kay, I only have my green one. :o) I do hope to teach my daughter about this great woman through the DVDs I have from my time there and who I am today because of her. :o)

So please enjoy the images I took of my daughter and thank you for reading my little reflection on someone who means the world to me.

 I love the lower left one and how balletic her reach is :o)

 Ah! Net!!! Green net!!!

 Sorry, I just had to include this sneeze picture :o)


  1. Love, love the pictures and your reflections of how Ms. Kay influenced you!

  2. Of course I enjoyed your images very much. Also though you have a natural talent for writing. Your story was very interesting and reflected your feelings of love and appreciation for Ms. Kay so well.
    Love the tutu your Mom made, and the color!